You guys. I’ve been a glutton.
I’ve been on vacation in Thailand for the last 10 days, and I’ve just been greedy. Indulgent. Spoiled.
Ok, you get the point.
I enjoyed 5 massages over 5 days, totaling eight hours of massages…well, because sometimes your massage just needs to last two hours in order for it to be done right.
I had traditional Thai massage, aromatherapy massage, oil massage, Swedish massage, vitamin E massage, aloe vera massage, massage on the beach, massage in a spa, massage in a questionable establishment. (I even thought about getting a happy ending massage, but I got distracted with all the other massages and forgot about it.)
(I can even now say that I’ve had a massage where my lady answered her cell phone and had a very whispery conversation while she continued to work on my body! That was a first – also hopefully a last!)
Why did I have so many massages? Because it’s fucking awesome. It feels good. It’s relaxing. Being touched is good for you. And, because I was on vacation in a country with massage parlors at least on every corner, and I could.
Is it too much?
My answer is, who cares? And who gets to be the decider of how much is too much anyway? Only you can be the boss of how much is too much for you.
Sometimes when I’m thinking about whether something is too much, I ask myself how much I’d want if no one else had to know. (It’s usually a very accurate measure – try it.)
Let yourself try all the things.
I wanted to have a range of experiences – to try lots of different things – to see if I had a favorite, to see if I liked different things on different days, to sample all the goods.
Often times, we don’t let ourselves do this. It feels extravagant to try new things. Sometimes we’re scared to try new things because we think we won’t like it, and if we don’t, then we’ve wasted time, money, and energy. But what if all the trying results in knowing exactly what you like, how you like it, where you like it, and how much you like?
It’s all information. And if we treat our information gathering as fun instead of as wasteful, it always gives us something good.
And while you’re at letting yourself have things that are good for you, go ahead and do the opposite as well.
You know what else I did when I was on vacation? The food was so good, I got nervous I was going to miss something amazing. So, when I wanted to, I would order two entrees instead of one. I didn’t eat them all, but I got to taste them both. Such a brilliant idea, I tell you! (Plus, I had a travel companion that would pretty much eat anything left on a plate so I didn’t feel bad about wasting food.)
I’ll be honest, there was a moment when I questioned whether I remained in possession of any self-control whatsoever. I mean, massages every day, way more food than I actually needed to supply my daily survival needs…I worried that once I go down the road of zero discipline, there’s no coming back.
But the opposite is actually true.
There came a day on my trip that I didn’t want a massage. My massage desire was saturated. (Maybe the fact I had a sunburn had a little something to do with it, but whatever the reason, I didn’t want a freaking massage.)
There came a day on the trip that I thought if I had to eat another serving of white rice, no matter what else graced it on the plate, I would vomit. (Seriously, the most blandly innocent of all foods made me feel nauseated!)
When you let yourself have all that you want, you will reach a point of fullness. And then you’re ready for something else. And, yep, it may take way longer than you anticipate.
The ice cream bender.
Guess what? There was a time in my life when I let myself eat as much ice cream as I wanted. A full pint, if that was what I needed to do. It’s not like this was a once-in-a-while occurrence – it happened on the regular.
It went on for a couple of years. There were times I loved it, times I hated it. And…then…when I was done, I was done.
Accepting what is makes space for something else.
I still eat ice cream, but I never want more than a few bites or a scoop now.
Why? What shifted?
I got full. Actually, I figured out that I’d been using ice cream as a way to handle particularly uncomfortable emotions, and tried a different way of dealing with them. And once I was no longer dumping ice cream into a black hole of emotion that couldn’t be fixed by ice cream, I could feel the true spot of feeling satiated by it.
When a desire is a true desire, it is not a black hole. It will get full if it is being met well.
The only way I was able to find this was because I didn’t shame myself about it. I didn’t try to make my wants different than they were. I didn’t bargain with myself to want less. I just accepted what was. I simply ate ice cream and noticed how I felt.
When you tell the truth, you can see clearly.
When you let yourself have what you want to have, without judgment, without guilt, without shame, you literally open up a whole new world of possibility. You can find new likes, new layers of needs and desires, but more importantly, you can tune into the quieter messages under those wants.
The quieter messages are where the gold is.
For me, on this trip, they were things like:
- Dude, your body holds a ton of tension.
- Dude, you don’t get touched enough.
- Relax and feel more.
And, when it came to the meals I wanted to order, the messages were things like:
- You haven’t travelled in a long time; have the actual experience you want to have.
- Don’t wait until you can’t have it (like once you’re home) to want the thing you want right now.
So, body relaxed (and still full!), I’m newly looking at ways to indulge in my everyday life.
Now it’s your turn!
What’s something that you want, but won’t let yourself have? Leave a comment below and let me know!